Tokyo station to Hachiouji: 1 hour, 780 yen one way.
Tokyo station to Kamakura: 1 hour, 890 yen one way.
So it's about 20 bucks to get to somewhere interesting from Tokyo with no rail pass. Life without rail pass sucks.
Tokyo to Nagoya is 2 hours.
Nagano to Nagoya is 3 hours.
Nagoya to Kyoto is about 40 minutes.
Still not sure when the Kawanakajima reenactment is. Kofu city homepage says something about it being on April 12. I think it will move to the Saturday closest to the date -- every reference I've seen says that the festival is held on a Saturday.
Edit: It's on the Saturday before April 12th. The Sunday before April 12th is the Kofu Castle festival, which has children dressed in armour parading through the town. On April 12th is a parade representing the Takeda 24 Generals. Hooray for information on the Kofu City homepage.
Things to see in Kofu:
Kofu Castle: Practically across the street from the castle.
Takeda Jinja: About two km from the train station. Shingen's grave is about a click away from that. (Not, unfortunately, closer to the train station.) There's a bus fromthe north side of the station to the shrine, which takes about eight minutes. There is a museum next to it that has a variety of artifacts.
Kofu Zenkouji. *amused* I am amused that Shingen had his own Zenkouji. *reads* Ah. That makes sense. He was worried that the original Zenkouji would be destroyed, and so built this one and had the treasures moved to it. (Zenkouji in Nagano is located close to the Kawanakajima battlefield, and was where Kenshin retreated to after the fourth battle.) That looks cool enough that we will probably need to make time to go see it. It's a seven minute walk from the JR Zenkouji station. The Zenkouji station is about four minutes from the Koufu station.
Yougai Castle ruins. It's only 30 minutes to the summit, but I'm not sure if there are any buses running out there. If there aren't, it's about two to three km from the Takeda Shrine.
Daisenji. It's been toasted in some war (didn't say which one), so nothing is really that old. It's five minutes by bus from the station, then another seven minutes walking.
Ah, so now that I have dates I can actually come up with a reasonable itinerary.
March 30 - April 15 are the likely dates.
Saturday, March 31: land.
Sunday, April 1:
Activate the rail pass. (Actually, this should have been done the night before, at the airport. It would be annoying to have to wait around until the office opens, otherwise.) Go down to Nagoya. Hit Kiyosu and Nagoya castles. (In that order. I'm done with breezing by this sucker on the train. It's taunted me with it's proximity to the shinkansen line for the last time.) I expect that we will be stupid about time since it's the first day, but I also expect that we should be able to hit both castles.
Kiyosu Castle is located 15 minutes walk from the Kiyosu station on the JR Tokaido line. It's about 10 minutes away from Nagoya station.
Nagoya Castle is located off of the streetcar line, as I recall. It's not that far from the station.
This will be a day where the jetlag is helpful.
Monday, April 2:
Noda Castle, Nagashino Castle, possibly Atsuta Shrine.
Tuesday, April 3:
Transit to Nagano. That will be three hours via JR. If we can get out of Nagoya by 7 then we can be in Nagano by 10. I'm thinking hit either Ueda or Matsumoto Castle. I'm inclined toward Ueda, since I've been to Matsumoto before. Also, it takes less time to get to Ueda from Nagano. We might have time for both castles, but I'm not holding my breath. We should have time for Zenkouji, though. Ueda station is about 15 minutes away from Nagano, though it looks like the train line runs about every half hour to an hour. The castle is about half a click away from the Ueda station.
As an alternative, if we get in at 10 then it might be enough time to do Kawanakajima. I'd prefer to save an entire day for that just in case, though.
Wednesday, April 4:
Kasugayama. This will take the entire day. It's an hour and a half from Nagano to Naoetsu, so it will be 2 - 2 1/2 hours to the castle are.
Thursday, April 5:
Transit to Tokyo. Hit whichever castle we didn't hit earlier on the way out. I'm kind of tempted to take back what I said earlier and hit Ueda on the way out. Then, while we're in the area, pop over to Mizusawa Kanon to get the goshuin (since it's one of the Bandou pilgrimage temples), then stop in at the Ikaho Onsen on the way back for a nice soak. Mmm, soak. And in daydream land, wouldn't it be nice to pop off the train in Takasaki and check out if I'm right about a certain gas station? 'Cause speaking of things that I keep zooming past that are pissing me off...
Friday, April 6:
Huh. Did I miss a day somewhere? When I was pondering this earlier, this should be Saturday. Oh! Stupid me, I forgot Kawanakajima. I knew there was another day in Nagano. Okay, the plan for Thursday should be moved to Friday, and Thursday will be spent tracking around an old battlefield.
Saturday, April 7:
Kawanakajima reenactment in Kofu. This will take all day. In the unlikely event that it doesn't, there are plenty of other things to see in Kofu.
Sunday, April 8:
Hm, so many choices. If we ship the luggage from Nagano to Kyoto that might be easiest. In which case we better head down to Kyoto this day so that the nice folks at Hotel Iida don't get too miffed that there is luggage but no paying customers. Otherwise, we could knock out the rest of the stuff in Kofu. Though I'm tempted to leave that until later, since I know that we will want to ship the luggage from Kyoto back to Tokyo when we come back, so we might as well save things to do in Tokyo.
Hm, now that I think about it, I wonder if it would be worthwhile to skip the extra time in Tokyo and just spend the 7th out in Nagano. Then we could ship the luggage from Nagano direct to Kyoto. After the festival we could end the day in Kyoto. Unfortunately, that plan does require that we take off from Koufu by no later than 5 PM. That might not be the end of the universe since the light will probably start going around then, so I expect that the festival should be wrapping up. But it is limiting. Very limiting. So it's probably best to assume that after the Takeda festival we will end the day in Tokyo. Then Sunday morning we can take off for Kyoto. (Much though I would prefer to eat the transit time sometime when it is dark and we couldn't be out doing something more interesting, like sightseeing.)
All of which brings me back to the original question: what is happening on this day? Go down to Kyoto. Do something interesting. I'm voting for hitting Daigo. Since we'll have spent half the day on a train, our feet should be rested enough to be up for the walk out to the upper temple area. 'Cause I'm not missing bits of Negoro-dera.
Monday, April 9:
Kyoto. Me? I'm tempted to knock off Enryakuji. 'Cause that's been pissing me off for a while.
Tuesday, April 10:
Kyoto. Though if someone wanted to twist my arm, I would be up for hitting Tamon Castle down in Nara. Because that one? It's been pissing me off too. While we're down there (if we go that route) we might as well pick up Yamato Kooriyama Castle. Since I found my last experience there to be insufficiently satisfying. Though this time? Fork the cash for the non-JR line. The walk from the JR station is too painful.
Tuesday, April 11:
Kyoto still. I'm sure I can find something in or around Kyoto to do. Lots and lots of something to do. More things than I could possibly list.
Wednesday, April 12:
The end of Kyoto. Good bye, cheese pan. Good bye, Hotel Iida. Farewell, Belgian waffles. (Yes, I do do things other than eat and soak while in Kyoto.) I'm thinking of spending the day in Kyoto, then transit up to Tokyo once it gets dark.
Thursday, April 13:
We should start the day in Tokyo. This would probably be a good time to hit the rest of the stuff in Koufu.
Friday, April 14:
Kamakura? Why not. There are many fine things in Kamakura. Including a temple dedicated to Enma Daioh that Jan wants to see. Oh, and I do too. And since we're out that direction, I'm thinking about hitting Enoshima. The luggage should arrive this day.
Saturday, April 15:
Tokyo. Shopping, most likely. Possibly hit Hachiouji Castle first, since I don't see myself spending an entire day shopping.
Sunday, April 16:
The dreaded Day With No Rail Pass. Oh yeah, and we leave. Not sure what to do in the morning. I'm voting for starting the Edo pilgrimage, since I've just about knocked out everything in Tokyo proper that I have any remote interest in seeing. Though... It occurs to me that this is a Sunday, so maybe checking out Yoyogi Park in the morning could be something new and interesting to do.
Huh. And I was going to do some research on ryokan in Nagoya, though I seem to have run out of time.